In December 2014 President Obama greatly expanded legal Cuba travel opportunities for Americans. On January 16, 2015 his Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued regulations allowing nearly every American to visit Cuba without applying for a license. Legal Cuba Travel provides a summary of the new travel Cuba rules.
You can go to Cuba legally and without a license as long as you affirm your travel fits into one of these US government approved categories:
- Educational activities in Cuba for schools, including people-to-people exchanges open to everyone
- Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions in Cuba
- Religious activities in Cuba
- Humanitarian projects in Cuba
- Journalist activities in Cuba
- Family visits to close relatives in Cuba
- Activities in Cuba by private foundations, or research or educational institutes
- Any type of support for the Cuban people
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information technologies or materials
- Certain authorized export transactions including agricultural and medical products, and tools, equipment and construction supplies for private use
- Official business of the US government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
If your travel falls within one of these categories you are automatically authorized to visit Cuba legally without having to apply for a license. You simply arrange travel and go to the island.
US visitors are required to engage in full time itinerary activities related to the above categories of travel.
There is no limit on the amount of money you can spend in Cuba. Travelers can use US credit and debit cards in Cuba (this facility will be in place after July 2015).
Travelers can return to the US with up to $400 of Cuban goods for personal use, including up to $100 of alcohol or tobacco products. Cuban artwork and informational materials are exempt from this limit.
Purely touristic travel such as stays at all-inclusive beach resorts remains prohibited.
If you have any question about these regulations please feel free to talk with one of our Cuba travel advisors at 1-888-965-5647, or email or chat with us online.